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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

On the Way towards GeoHumanities: Russian & Soviet Cultural Geography Revisited

There have been no cultural geography in the USSR for half a century, and human geography was narrowed to economic geography alone. However the tradition of Russian anthropogeography (L. Berg) of the 1910s was one of the first in the world to focus on cultural landscapes.

The representatives of the official Soviet geography, from N. Baransky in the 1930s to V. Gokhman in the 1980s, stated the need for ‘social & cultural geography of Soviet nation(s)’. Landscape studies were ideologically suppressed and were focused strictly on natural landscapes.

When cultural geography finally emerged after the collapse of the USSR, it turned out to be rooted neither in Russian anthropogeographic tradition, nor in Anglo-American cultural geography. Making their own way, Russian cultural geographers were inspired rather by French philosophers and gave birth to a specific framework of ‘gumanitarnaya geografiya’ (‘humanitarian geography’ in word-by-word translation), which I argue to be likely to be translated as ‘GeoHumanities’.

This GeoHumanities doesn’t look like traditional Sauerian cultural geography. Its main themes seem similar to those of new cultural / humanistic geography, but its trends & prospects differ a lot, as there were no revolutionary changes like those between Sauerian vs. new cultural / humanistic vs. critical geography. There’s no other cultural geography research in Russia, except GeoHumanities school focused on cultural landscapes, geographical images, spatial myths & regional identities, majorly in modern urban areas & deeply rooted in literature & art discourses with case-studies mostly presenting the imageries of historical towns.

In book

Washington: The American Association of Geographers, 2017.